Kurds and the Ex­trem­ist Shiia and Sunna

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Saadula Aqrawi

The United States has been sup­ply­ing the Kurds with arms to fight the ISIS. The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil adopted a res­o­lu­tion against al Qaeda , Nusra Front, and the Is­lamic State mil­i­tants who have de­clared a state of Caliphate across Iraq and Syria. The Bri­tish decision to send Jor­da­nian mil­i­tary equip­ment to the Pesh­merga, fol­lowed a plea by Barazani for Bri­tain to arm the Kurds against the ISIS. The UN ef­forts to staunch the Is­lamic State’s money flow add to the mil­i­tary pres­sure on the ISIS. The US war­planes con­tinue bom­bard­ing its forces, while an emer­gency Euro­pean Union meet­ing in Brussels opened the door for more mem­bers of the 28-group to arm em­bat­tled Kur­dish Pesh­merga.

ISIS is an ex­trem­ist group that has orig­i­nated from al Qaeda's hard line ide­ol­ogy and ad­heres to global ji­hadist prin­ci­ples. The ex­trem­ism in Shiia and Sunni Is­lam is fo­mented and fur­ther ex­ac­er­bated by the support from both Iran and Saudi Ara­bia. The ex­treme rad­i­cal fac­tions of Is­lam pose the big­gest threat in the Mid­dle East. They ex­ploit sec­tar­ian pol­i­tics as a means to in­crease their po­lit­i­cal lever­age and in­flu­ence in the re­gion. Th­ese fac­tions, in­de­pen­dent of their sec­tar­ian af­fil­i­a­tions, present vi­o­lent, ex­pan­sion­ist, and dis­torted views of Is­lam. Their in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the re­li­gion are limited to con­cepts and means which best jus­tify and suit their pur­poses. ISIS grew sig­nif­i­cantly as an or­ga­ni­za­tion owing to its par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Syr­ian Civil War and the strength of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Bagh­dadi. Eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal dis­crim­i­na­tion against Arab Iraqi Sun­nis since the fall of the sec­u­lar Sad­dam's regime also helped it to gain support.

The coali­tion in the new Iraqi con­sti­tu­tion be­tween the Shiia and the Kurds at the ex­pense of the Sunni Arabs, con­sti­tuted the only Baathists in the old Iraq, helped to work in fa­vor of the Shiia who had nur­tured close ties to Iran. The new rulers in Iraq had lit­tle idea about the work­ings of democ­racy and were mostly pur­su­ing a sec­tar­ian agenda un­der the tute­lage of Iran. Iran was able to wage a proxy war against the United States in Iraq through the Al Quds Force as well as splin­ter groups from the Sadr Move­ment, such as Ashab Uhl- Haq. It also re­lied on like minded politi­cians, in­clud­ing Prime Min­is­ter Ma­liki and the State of Law coali­tion deputies in the par­lia­ment who joined forces with other Shiia groups to get the Americans out of Iraq. The dis­en­fran­chised Sunni par­lia­men­tar­i­ans also helped. Iran even­tu­ally achieved its ob­jec­tive of re­duc­ing the U.S. pres­ence in Iraq and mak­ing ro­bust U.S. en­gage­ment in Iraq un­palat­able to the Amer­i­can peo­ple by in­creas­ing the costs of a large U.S. pres­ence in the coun­try.

The ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Iraq im­me­di­ately stepped in to fill the gap left by the Sun­nis, who had boy­cotted the Iraqi gov­ern­ment after 2003. The ISIS had close links with al-Qaeda un­til 2014, but in Fe­bru­ary of that year, after an eight-month power strug­gle, al-Qaeda cut all ties with the group, re­port­edly for its bru­tal­ity and "no­to­ri­ous in­tractabil­ity. There was no ex­ter­nal power in­ter­ven­ing with ground forces to stop the chain of bloody mas­sacres. Blood­shed has been caused by the ad­vance of the re­port­edly Saudi- and Qatar-funded Is­lamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) which has gained a foothold in Iraq due to Ma­liki's op­pres­sive sec­tar­ian poli­cies and his re­luc­tance to in­clude the Sun­nis in Iraqi pol­i­tics. This has alien­ated the Sun­nis and left them with no choice but to embrace what they view as the lesser evil. To­day we see a theater of sec­tar­ian war in Iraq, where Iran and the Gulf coun­tries are wag­ing their bloody bat­tle against one another while the Iraqi peo­ple suf­fer the con­se­quences.

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